Ballot agents' responsibilities
See Fair Work Act s.449
Voting for a protected action ballot must be arranged and overseen by an authorised ballot agent. The ballot agent must ensure that the ballot is conducted efficiently and meets all of the requirements set by the Commission and the Fair Work Act and Regulations.
A protected action ballot must be conducted by:
- if a person is specified in the protected action ballot order as the protected action ballot agent for the ballot – that person, or
- the AEC.
The ballot agent must conduct the protected action ballot quickly and in accordance with the following:
- the protected action ballot order
- the timetable for the ballot
- sections 449–458 of the Fair Work Act
- any directions given by the Commission
- any procedures prescribed by the Fair Work Regulations.
Directions about ballot paper
The ballot agent for a protected action ballot may provide with the ballot paper:
- directions to be followed by an employee entitled to vote in the ballot so that the vote complies with the Fair Work Act and Fair Work Regulations, and
- other directions that the agent reasonably believes may assist in ensuring an irregularity does not occur in the conduct of the ballot, and
- notes to assist an employee who is entitled to vote in the ballot by informing him or her of matters relating to conduct of the ballot.
Directions for conduct of protected action ballot for alternative ballot agent
See Fair Work Act s.450
The Commission must give the alternative ballot agent (ie ballot agent that is not the AEC) written directions in relation to the following matters relating to the protected action ballot:
- the development of a timetable
- the voting method, or methods, to be used (which cannot be a method involving a show of hands) – examples of voting methods are attendance voting, electronic voting and postal voting
- the compilation of the roll of voters
- the addition of names to, or removal of names from, the roll of voters
- any other matter in relation to the conduct of the ballot that the Commission considers appropriate.
Note: A ballot agent must not contravene a term of a direction given by the Commission in relation to a protected action ballot.
To enable the roll of voters to be compiled, the Commission may direct, in writing, either or both of the following:
- the employer of the employees who are to be balloted
- the applicant for the protected action ballot order
to give to the Commission or the ballot agent:
- the names of the employees included in the group or groups of employees specified in the protected action ballot order, and
- any other information that it is reasonable for the Commission or the ballot agent to require to assist in compiling the roll of voters.
- an applicant for a protected action ballot order, or
- the employer of an employee who is to be balloted;
provides information as directed, the applicant or employer must include with the information a declaration in writing that the applicant or employer reasonably believes that the information is complete, up-to-date and accurate.
Timetable for protected action ballot
See Fair Work Act s.451
The following provisions apply if:
- the ballot agent is the AEC, or
- the Commission has directed the alternative ballot agent to comply with this section.
Note: If the following provisions do not apply, the ballot agent must comply with directions given by the Commission in relation to the matters dealt with by this section.
As soon as practicable after receiving a copy of the protected action ballot order, the ballot agent must, in consultation with each applicant for the order and the employer of the employees who are to be balloted:
- develop a timetable for the conduct of the protected action ballot, and
- determine the voting method, or methods, to be used for the ballot (which cannot be a method involving a show of hands) – examples of voting methods are attendance voting, electronic voting and postal voting.
 Fair Work Regulations r.3.14.
 Fair Work Act s.463(2).
 Fair Work Regulations r.3.15.